Imagine yourself being told by a divine power to cease wondering through the dense jungles, as you have done so for generations, and found a city where an eagle perches on a cactus. You search with your tribe, until you see such an eagle. However, it is located on an island on the middle of a lake. How do you design the city so that it thrives in such a unique environment? Welcome to Tenochtitlan.
When I first heard of aquaponics, I wasn’t impressed at first. This was still in my freshmen year of Allegheny when I was first discovering my love for environmental topics. In those early years in Meadville, I was more focused in the giant ideas rather than small scale practical solutions. “What’s the big deal about fish and plants?” was one of the many questions I had about it. By the time my sophomore year came around, I was actively and excitedly teaching about it in a local elementary school.
One of my favorite games is Surviving Mars, published by Paradox Interactive. In it, you control the first colonists to Mars. As you can imagine there are countless challenges and hardships that you have to overcome. In a moment’s notice all of your hard work can disappear with one dust devil or meteor.
There is a game that I have been waiting literal years to come out: Star Citizen. The promise from the creators is that it will be the most immersive game in space, ever. After years of drama, setbacks, and praise, it looks like it might actually come out within the year (or 2019...).
The creators of the game are very good about showcasing ships, and asking for community feedback. Being that we will mostly be in these vessels, it makes sense to get as much feedback as possible before the game officially launches. While I was not at all surprised to see a review of the new 600i, I was surprised to see how he described himself: as an architect.
Recently, I had a chance to go see the new Art of the Brick exhibit at the Carnegie Science Center. While it was all rather impressive, what really caught my eye was the piece inspired by one of the many things Pittsburgh is known for: bridges.
Some of the most iconic are the three sisters; three identical bridges that stand just before the Allegheny meets the Ohio. Unlike other bridges these are not only named for the streets they continue. Rather these are named after three icons to the area. Who are they, and what did they bring to Pittsburgh?
My apartment is detached completely from the outside world. My windows go into a hallway, as does my door. While extremely cozy, I often feel like I am underground or in a vault. it is an ideal price, size, and location for my life, but I can start to feel early signs of cabin fever when at home for too long.
The thing I miss the most by living in my underground home is the lack of running water. There is a stream right outside the back of the building, but I can never hear it. People will talk about gigantic storms from the night before at work while I just nod; being oblivious to any meteorological event during my slumber.
Tonight I introduced one of my favorite 'lite' games to my family: Blueprints. In this game each person is an architect trying to build according to the blueprints you have been assigned. It is a ton of fun while also causing phrases like "You took the piece I needed!?!" Family bonding is always best when there is frustration involved.
One of the key elements in the game is the resource pool in the middle. At the beginning of the game a large number of dice are rolled. Then on your turn you take a piece and replace it with something else. While this seems calm, players have to think about what piece they can take now to best set them up for success in the future.
In Seattle, on a clear day, you can always see Tacoma mountain. Even at 65 miles away, it is hard to miss a pile of rock scaling over 14,000 feet! It becomes a point of comfort, a point of stability. Skylines are the same way.
On my first day in the Fab Lab, I created a t-shirt with the Pittsburgh skyline. Even though I just recently moved back, I recognized some of the buildings. It helped give me a sense of place, a point of stability.
When we search other planets for life, we first look for water. There have been movements to rename our planet Ocean since it is mostly covered in it. Agua is used in countless imagery around the world and throughout time. We never think about how much we use it until it is gone.
When I lived in the mountains a few of my peers argued that the three dams on the Skagit should be taken down. "The river is being held hostage." "We must break it of its chains." "Once free it could return to what it once was!" Being from coal country myself, I could never imagine someone thinking hydro-electricity has damaging. It is renewable! But yesterday I tasted just a bit of that feeling when I saw Girty's Run.